A start-up Internet and telephony venture, eKorp.com, has established its global research and development centre in Melbourne, pumping an estimated $20 million into the city's economy.
Victoria's parliamentary secretary for Treasury and Multimedia, Robert Clark, said the R&D facility would create up to 600 jobs locally and aimed to generate $1 billion in global revenue by 2004.
The first application of eKorp's service would be in partnership with Melbourne-based travel provider Lonely Planet, Clark said. The product, Lonely Planet eKno, aims to provide communication options for independent travellers.
"eKorp is a new generation of telecommunications company, specialising in services which integrate traditional telephony, Internet services and voice over IP," Clark said.
Clark said eKorp would pursue opportunities in research and development and capital investment as part of its five-year strategy.eKorp is a range of Australian and US interests seeking to provide services to more than 60 countries in its first year.